Dupont Dulux steel kitchen cabinets

dupont dulux cabinets emblemContinuing work on my 90+ listings Retro Renovation® Encyclopedia of Vintage Steel Kitchen Cabinets, here is a second design, from 1950, from what I believe is a rare and likely early brand — Dupont Dulux. Well… was Dupont Dulux was an actual brand? I don’t know for sure. The question remains, are these some other brand of cabinets — Homarts by Sears??? — with a Dupont Dulux enamel finish? For now, though, I’ll stick with: Dupont Dulux, as a brand, until I can verify otherwise.

dupont dulux vintage steel kitchen cabinetsAbove and most of the photos: This Dupont Dulux kitchen cabinet set is currently for sale on Facebook marketplace; thanks to seller Chris for giving me permission to show these photos. Thanks also to reader Greg, who has been watching my researcy on vintage steel kitchen cabinets unfold and tipped me to these rare birds. Here’s hoping the cabinets find a good home!

Early design Dupont Dulux steel kitchen cabinets

dupont dulux finishAbove: In 2009, early days o’ the blog, I spotted an earlier design of Dupont Dulux steel kitchen cabinets at an estate sale in Pittsfield, Mass., near where I live.

dupont dulux steel kitchen cabinet doorThis design — with its die-cut decoration, fantastic!, and inset base and wall cabinet doors — and also see the fantastic drainboard sink! — surely are older. Alas, if I had been thinking, I would have gotten the year the house was built so that I could date the cabinets, which were original to the space. 

vintage steel kitchen cabinetsThen, later, a reader found the complete set shown above, which shows there were wall and base cabinets, too, not just a sink base.  (Original photos in story linked to, above.) Detailing: Very chunky.

Question question question: Are these early Homart (by Sears) steel cabinets with a Dupont Dulux Customatch paint finish? I see later Homarts with round pulls like those shown above. And I see later Homarts with Dupont Dulux paint. But, so far, I have not seen Homart cabinets like this…

1950 Dupont Dulux steel kitchen cabinets

dupont dulux steel kitchen cabinets 1950dupont dulux customatched kitchen Now we have this second full set, with a different design.

dupont kitchen cabinets dupont kitchen cabinetsWall and base cabinets are full overlay. Those wall cabinets doors are quite chunky.

what not shelvesNice what-not shelves! Note, a reader recently wrote to ask what to call curvy open shelves like this. What-not shelves. Base, or wall. That’s what they are called.

Again… this listing retains its mystery: Was “Dupont” or “Dupont Dulux” a standalone brand? Or, were these cabinets another brand — Sears Homart? — just “customatched” painted with Dupont Dulux paint? Can this mystery be solved?

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  1. Joe Felice says:

    According to Wikipedia, Dulux is an internationally available brand of architectural paint. The brand name Dulux has been used by both Imperial Chemical Industries and DuPont since 1931 and was one of the first alkyd-based paints. It is produced by AkzoNobel although the United States markets are now served by PPG Industries.

  2. Cyd says:

    Just read my mother’s 1956 magazine with ads for new wood on steel cabinets available. What caught my attention more in the magazine was the introduction of a single appliance for refrigerator and freezer, as well as the TV with a remote control. 1956!

  3. Jay says:

    Dupont, (better living through chemistry) post war specialized in raw products and finishes for industrial applications supplied to manufacturers for their finished wares. Think paint for automobiles and Teflon for pots and pans. Although back in the 60s I think they did supply auto care products and paints retail under their name. I remember seeing the many rows of large slats they had outside their Wilmington DE plant where they tested paint samples by exposure to the elements. Very colorful.

  4. carolyn says:

    I’d have to agree with the argument that we’re looking at a paint emblem same as “Body by Fisher” in cars. And someone subsequently painted over the printing with what looks like latex paint. I tend to think this is a mishmash of different sets to make a whole. Old ones were original (Art Deco center) and later they added components that matched good enough.
    Awesome way to decorate the ventilation!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      I’m tending to agree that it’s a paint finish.

      But, I do think that these are matching sets, not mish mashes, albeit from two different eras. My working hypothesis, because I have seen the term “Customatched” on other Homart/Sears cabinets is that they are Homarts. I now need to find source material to verify the designs.

  5. Ruth Ann Kuntz says:

    DuPont Dulux was an enamel paint line. Automotive paint was used in the 50’s to paint appliance and cabinets.

  6. Dan says:

    My instinct tells me that marvelous Deco-ish kitchen is pre WWII, but not by much. You don’t see many fitted kitchens in middle class homes much before then, but that cutout design would have appeared very dated post war. Anyone know how or if that center section opens?
    I also suspect DuPont supplied a proprietary finish for cabinets made by others that, like Scotchguard in the 70’s, was considered an additional selling point.

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      See the original story — yes, the center door opens. I think it opened via the black push button centered just above the door but I forget exactly. Cool!

  7. BobinAlabama says:

    Dupont began selling paint under the Dulux brand name in 1931, and in the U.S. it was sold to PP&G in 2012. The interior trim of my house is painted with Dulux paint.

  8. Laura Euler says:

    Definitely just paint. Dulux is still a paint brand in the UK. I just saw a 1960s ad for Bassett furniture “protected by DuPont Dulux” finish.

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